Arlington, VA

(Updated at 5:00 p.m.) Police say they don’t yet have any reason to believe a man who exposed himself on the W&OD Trail yesterday morning has any relation to a string of 11 such incidents in 2010, but they’re investigating a link anyhow.

According to a police report released today, two woman and their young children encountered the man masturbating along the W&OD Trail near Ohio Street — close to East Falls Church — just after 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. The man was covering his face with one of his hands while performing the lewd act with the other.

The women, ages 33 and 40, were each with a one-year-old son at the time. They immediately started walking away from the man, who then fled the scene. As we reported yesterday, police searched the area but were unable to locate the man.

The incident is similar to a string of 11 indecent exposure incidents along the W&OD Tail in early 2010. While police don’t think there’s a connection, they’re looking into that angle anyhow.

“Detectives are… actively trying to determine if this case is in any way related to the cases that have occurred in the past,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, who added that no other indecent exposure incidents have been reported on the trail recently.

The suspect from Thursday’s incident is described by police as “a white male, approximately 5’8”-5’10” tall, with a chubby build.” He was wearing jeans, a black sweatshirt and black sunglasses at the time.

Anybody with information about the crime is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222. If you see someone expose themselves, you’re asked to immediately call 911 and report it.

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